Spilled coke on laptop...PC Performance advice

  allezvite 14:40 24 Nov 2010


Due to an unfortunate accident where my son knocked a can of coke over my laptop (he's only 4). My three-year-old HP Pavillion DV2000ea has died on me.

I tried to dry out the computer and at first it would go on and I was able to use some keys but now it won't even go on. I don't know if this means there's a much more serious problem but, having read about coke spillages, I know it's not good.

The one saving grace (ahem) is that I pay every month for PC Performance and they are going to try and fix the computer. What are the chances of a fix? There are a lot of music/pics on file that I really don't want to lose and I like my laptop.

If it's not fixable and they offer me replacement vouchers what am I likely to get? The laptop cost me £1100 three years ago and was one of the high end models in the shop at the time.

However, I appreciate that the prices have come crashing down since and spec has gone right up. I know that they offer you money to a comparable machine so does anyone know roughly what that will be?

It had all mod cons at time, bluetooth, lightscribe dvd-rw, tv tuner and 2GB ram etc but I appreciate again that a lot of these come as standard.

The hope really is I get my computer fixed and my files are recoverable but if not I need to look at what level of computer I can replace it with - if they offer vouchers. Can anyone advise?

  allezvite 15:14 24 Nov 2010

the above post should say PC WORLD PERFORMANCE. Sorry.

  donki 15:21 24 Nov 2010

If the laptop isnt fixable the hardisk inside should be in working condition however I would say PCW will wipe it should they get it fixed or even replace it if it doesnt need replacing. You could back up the harddisk now if you can get it removed from the laptop, its a pretty easy job.

I dont know what PCW will offer you in terms of a replacment but I hop everything goes smoothly for you.

Oh by the way you should always back up important files to an external device to avoid such a situation, I might as well say it cause everone else will.

  allezvite 15:26 24 Nov 2010


I feared as much Donki about the photos and music. It was my first thought when the coke landed on the computer but I thought I'd be able to retrieve them as the computer initially continued working.

You are 100 per cent spot on that I should back up these files to an external harddisk. It's really something I need to invest in as I have several computers.

My only hope now is that the computer a) gets fixed, as I have heard horror stories about The Tech Guys

b) I get a suitable offer for a replacement as it was covered under accidental damage, or so I believe (?)

  peugeot man 15:48 24 Nov 2010

I would be very surprised if it will ever work again. My experience is that liquid damage of any sort in electronic equipment is fatal.
Coke in particular is very corrosive to electrical components and printed circuit boards.

It may well have worked for a short time as the corrosive sugary liquid did the damage.

Pity you didn't know what would happen otherwise you could have made a back up of your valuable files during the short time it continued working.

If you don't get a result from PC World I would consider an accidental damage claim on your household insurance.

  Woolwell 16:08 24 Nov 2010

I'm not as pessimistic as peugeot man. A few years ago my wife spilt red wine over her laptop. They changed the keyboard and cleaned it and it was fine and in fact still works (if we got it out of the cupboard).

If they cannot repair ask for the harddrive as it should be possible to recover the data.

  GaT7 17:39 24 Nov 2010

You can still backup your files if the hard drive isn't damaged, & is the recommended thing to do before you give it in for repair anywhere.

To do this, you'll need to remove the hard drive, place it in a suitable external hard drive container/caddy/docking station, connect it to another PC/laptop via USB & copy your data across.

The HP Pavilion DV2000ea appears to have a SATA drive, so something like this click here will do (there are cheaper alternatives). G

  GaT7 17:45 24 Nov 2010

The laptop's PDF service manual is available at click here, with hard drive removal instructions from '5.4 Hard Drive' onwards (or from pages 121-124). G

  spuds 18:00 24 Nov 2010

When you hand over the laptop to PCW, make sure that you explain your requirements, and possibly in writing. PCW may take the attitude that a repair is not feasible due to the age of the model, and as such bin the item complete. When items are binned, they are usually sold to a third party, in which case the hard-drive should be wiped clean (?).

If they did that, then they should offer you vouchers (most likely) or a laptop equivalent to or better than the model requiring repair (the old value is irrelevant). If its an insurance job, you could offer to buy the item, and by doing so, you would still be in possession of the hard-drive for future transfer of data.

Most contracts will state that the company is not responsible for salvaging hard-drive data or back-ups. This is the customers responsibility. If the laptop is returned in working order, you may well find the hard-drive as been re-formatted, depending on and if repaired.

I would say this is a 'see what happens' job, because they may well inspect the item, and complete a simple clean-up.

Be polite and you never know, things might turn out in your favour?.

  allezvite 18:35 24 Nov 2010

thanks for all the kind helpful responses. Unfortunately I have just handed over the computer to the courier but I will call tech guys and ask if they can keep the hard drive intact.

If I do have to accept vouchers on the PC World Performance plan to what value are they likely to be to? I know laptops have come down considerably in the past few years but would I be able to still get a pretty decent replacement computer? How do they value these things?

  spuds 18:49 24 Nov 2010

I generally find that putting notes in with computers requiring repair are ignored.The same if you have sent any accessories, perhaps don't expect them back. If you call the TechGuys, then get names, reference numbers etc, then follow that with an email. Be sure to keep copies handy.

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